Watch out for a horse hard at work in Coldfall from around the 29th of January onwards.


Coppicing with the aid of horses will soon take place in Coldfall Wood.

The plan is to coppice some trees in one area of the wood, and to take out a few trees, mostly oaks and hornbeams, each side of the east-west path through the wood. The aim is to let in more light along the middle path where the trees are currently too crowded. Coppicing reduces the density of trees in the wood to let in light, the trees will soon re-grow to produce new stems.

Continue reading “Watch out for a horse hard at work in Coldfall from around the 29th of January onwards.”

Woodland fire risk


Due to the recent spell of dry weather, Coldfall Woods are at higher risk of fire damage than usual

Please do not light fires in Coldfall Woods, however small. We have had incidents of ground fire in the past that has been a real threat.

Arson is a serious offence and is always dealt with by the police and the courts. Anyone caught lighting fires could be issued with a fine up to £5000.

If you see signs of fire, call 999 immediately.

Footpath update

Haringey have recently secured £3K to improve the paths in Coldfall Wood, focussing on the muddy areas by the bridges and boardwalks but also the drainage issues on the new path at Lover’s Lawn.

The key areas for improvement are the muddy slopes either side of the first bridge downstream of the reed beds. TCV are planning to build a short boardwalk extension to the bridge and lay new lengths of footpath here.

At the other bridges they will be digging out the mud at either end and laying a geo-textile fabric down before relaying with stone as before.

The new small boardwalk will benefit from a new length of footpath to counter the large area of mud which has been making its use unattractive.

At Lover’s Lawn a narrow 30m channel will be dug and back filled with pea gravel to intercept the run-off which is flowing from the allotment/cemetery side. Water from the drain will be re-directed under the path in a pipe to soak away toward the Wood. All works will be covered over with turf/earth removed in excavation.

Wetland area update

Wetland Evolution

As the wetland around the new boardwalk has evolved, some very attractive water plants are appearing as part of the process of the natural evolution of the area. Ducks and moorhens have even been spotted making their homes there. However, a number of trees have died as a result of water-logging.

Dead tree felling

Haringey Council have identified that some of the dead trees pose a threat. If they were to come down naturally, they could pose a threat and injure boardwalk users. The council are therefore currently in the process of removing the dead trees within the vicinity of the boardwalk.

Coldfall Wood Winter Tree Walk

by Sandra Lawson (reproduced from Weekend Notes)

Event: 23/02/2013

No Teddy Bears Picnic in Coldfall Wood

Winter, especially February, can seem pretty bleak. We start to anticipate the arrival of spring and wish the trees would hurry up and grow some leaves to cover their bare branches. It can also be difficult to identify different varieties of trees when they are not in leaf. If you are within easy reach of Muswell Hill you can take an opportunity to get out into the open air and learn how to identify bare-leafed trees on 23 February when the Friends of Coldfall Wood and Muswell Hill Playing Fields will be organising a Winter Tree Walk.

The Wood is now a mere half of its former size and is bounded by the East Finchley public allotments and the St Pancras and Islington Cemetery. Among the tree species to be found there are Hazel Beech and Mountain Ash. It is one of London’s ‘Flagship Woods’ and part of the ‘Capital Woods Project’. It has also been identified as an ancient wood and provides evidence that glaciation once reached as far as southern England. Now you’ve had the history lesson, it’s time to head to Coldfall Wood for the botany lesson and learn how to identify those trees that have no foliage.

27 November – Woodland Management at Coldfall Wood

Tuesday 27 November, 10am – 3pm: Woodland Management at Coldfall Wood

Continuing our winter management programme including cutting back invasive goat willow and Himalayan Balsam which is dominating areas of the stream, this will help encourage more diverse wetland plants and create better sight lines near the bridges.

Meet: Middle entrance of woodland, Creighton Avenue, Muswell Hill N10. Click here for a map

Ash die back disease

Diseased ash, May 2011 (photo by HermannFalkner/sokol, Flikr. Used under Creative Commons license
Diseased ash, May 2011 (photo by HermannFalkner/sokol, Flikr. Used under Creative Commons license)

As you may be aware, many of our woodland and forest sites are being infected by a rampant disease caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea. Ash makes up 30% of UK’s indigenous woodland and it’s affect could be as dramatic as Dutch elm disease in the 70s and 80s.

Although it consists mainly oak and hornbeam, Coldfall Woods is also home to a variety of other trees including ash, and the public is urged to help in an attempt to map and help prevent the spread of the disease across the country. The AshTag app for smartphones has been recently launched as well as the Forestry Commission’s guide (pdf) to spotting the disease.

Wilting and die-back of foliage, branches and stems are characteristic. There are also signs on the guide above to look out for in winter when the leaves have dropped.

If you think you’ve spotted Ash tree fungus, please send in your sighting at


As you may have noticed, it’s very muddy at the entrances to the wood from the playing field at the moment.

Please bear with us – Haringey council will be looking into this and laying down woodchip as soon as they can get their vehicles onto the site. Currently it’s too boggy to traverse the field.

In the meantime you may need wellies.